South Korea has invested in developing a robot – the SGR1 – equipped with machine guns and grenade launchers, which it has tested to guard its border with North Korea. The robot uses infrared sensors to detect targets from up to two miles away and shoot them – although the manufacturers, Samsung Techwin, say that it remains under human control.
“The robots are not being deployed to replace or free up human soldiers,” said Huh Kwang-hak, a spokesman for Samsung Techwin. “Rather, they will become part of the defence team with our human soldiers. Human soldiers can easily fall asleep or allow for the depreciation of their concentration over time.
“But these robots have automatic surveillance, which doesn’t leave room for anything resembling human laziness.”
To illustrate their point, Samsung Techwin produced a Hollywood-style six minute advert for the technology, featuring invading “badies” clad in face paint being identified by the SGR1 and halted by the voice of operators working from the base.